Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #1
Published by NYLA on December 2, 2013
Narrator: Renee Raudman
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, "normal" is a bit of a stretch for Dina.
And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night....Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.
I’m continuing my deep dive into the Ilona Andrews duo’s backlist. This time, I decided to try out their Innkeepers Chronicles series. I must admit I was a bit hesitant about this series. The premise, an inn for extraterrestrials, didn’t reach out and grab me. I worried it would be more sci-fi than I was in the mood for. It pleasantly surprised me that it satisfied both my paranormal and fantasy cravings with its werewolves, vampires, and magic. When all was said and done, I was happy to put this firmly in my Urban Fantasy section, which lately has been where I’ve been finding my comfort reads.
I wasn’t sure about Dina at first. As an innkeeper, she had certain responsibilities and duties toward her inn and its guests. Come hell or high water, she take care of it all, vampires, werewolves, otherworld creatures and politics be damned. I liked her, but she seemed to be over her head. She was also more than a little lost in her grief over her missing parents which colored every decision she made.
As the story unfolded, her inner strength and her badass, don’t-mess- with-me vibe won me over completely. Her main weapon was no ordinary broom and she knew how to wield it with a devastating effect.
The neighborhood werewolf, Sean, didn’t bowl me over at first, either. And, as much help as he proved himself to be, I’m still not sure about him. He’s got a sexy, bad boy vibe going that makes me want to root for him in future books, but he hasn’t won my loyalty yet. I am hoping that will change in future books.
As for Arland, the vampire… color me intrigued. He is the epitome of what I love in a good vampire hero—dangerous, suave and sex on a stick. But he’s got loyalties of his own and duties to his house that will always come first with him. Right now I admire him and hope we’ll see more of him.
This book had a lot going for it. I loved Dina’s scary sweet pup that wasn’t quite what she seemed to. And her uber-interesting permanent guest who seemed to be the galaxies most dangerous exile has me intrigued. The inn, itself, had a personality all its own and ended up being a well rounded supporting character in its own right.
I think the story had a slight case of first-in-series-itis because, for me, the massive world building detracted some from the main story. Fortunately, it was just so dang fascinating it didn’t bother me much. I have no doubt I’ll be devouring the next book in the series soon.
Rating; 4 So Much Cool Stuff Stars
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